“Save the Children’’, an NGO says it has so far spent N11 billion on 93,000 women in Jigawa and Zamfara States, towards tackling malnutrition and stunting.
The National Programme Manager, Child Development Grant Programme (CDGP) Save the Children, Ramatu Buda’r-Aliyu, said this at the dissemination of end line findings of the programme in Abuja, on Tuesday.
Ms Buda’r-Aliyu said the six-year pilot programme, targeted at pregnant women, commenced in 2013 and was expected to end in August 2019.
She said the CDGP was expected to cater for pregnant women throughout their ante-natal period and give post-natal care until the child attained the age of two years.
“What we wanted to do was to address the issue of stunting and malnutrition, since Nigeria has one of the highest levels of malnutrition in Africa; with the northern part of the country accounting for the largest share.
“We tried to see how we can use cash and knowledge on nutrition to address that issue by helping women make the right decisions as to what how and when to eat, so they could consume only nutritious food.
“So far, we have reached 93,000 plus women in Jigawa and Zamfara in five local government areas, providing them with N4, 000 monthly to help them come out of poverty.
“We have so far spent N11 billion and have reached 85,000 babies born into the programme; and we have reached 630,105 households,” she said.
Ms Buda’r-Aliyu said the programme had achieved a lot as stunting had reduced in the communities; and there was a change in women, who according her, now invest, feed better, and have increased ante-natal care attendance.
The Team Leader and Senior Governance Adviser, Conflict and Social Development Team, UKaid, Alex Stevens, said the Department for International Development (DFID) was glad to be a part of the programme.
Mr Stevens said the programme was an opportunity to learn and tackle some incredibly challenging issues facing Nigeria.
He said an evaluation on the programme indicated that households currently had food security and were knowledgeable in dietary diversity; and there was visible reduction in stunting.
He said the organisation was looking forward to working closely with two states, Kano and Kaduna, and also planning to support social protection in Nigeria.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gave credence to the impact of the programme.
Jara Iliyasu from Jigawa, said she used the N4, 000 grant to learn tailoring and also traded in rice.
Another beneficiary from Zamfara, Binta Suleiman, said she had seven children but lost three due to ignorance on how to cater for their nutritional needs.
Mrs Suleiman promised to transfer the knowledge and skills acquired from the programme to her children.
Zainab Saminu from Zamfara State appreciated CDGP for equipping her with knowledge on when, what and how to eat to produce healthy children.